I am considering doing conventions next year, set up a table and try to sell/show some of my art. So I decided that this year will be the year of scouting. With that in mind I headed to Pittsburgh Comicon, that takes place in the Convention Center of Monroeville.
I went on Saturday afternoon and I found that there were not a lot of people, maybe the most will gather on Sunday when the costume contest is? But there was a constant flow of people never the less. There were a lot of comic vendors and a decent amount of artists, most of them comic artists, obviously, and a couple of fantasy artists. I was a little disappointed to see that there is a general trend to vulgar slutty-almost porn in art. Really, you can have super sexy without spread legs. But there was an overabundance of that, so I guess it sells. I discovered artist Tom Fleming and I was instantly in love with his fine art! It was a little bit like Klimt meets Art Nouveau and I loved it! I just wished I had more money, because I had to settle for his new book, but how I wanted to buy his art instead!
I also did not see a lot of money flow, but the economy has been really harsh. I talked to one artist though and he said that he was doing pretty good in the comic cons, so he could not complain. What did make a lot of money were the charity raffle and the charity auction.
The charity raffle was fun, the artists gathered all in a room and people started to shout suggestions for them to draw. They sketched quickly and after a bunch of sketches were made people bought tickets and the sketches were raffled. There was a very joyful environment and the convention gathered over US$1600.
The charity auction was to benefit Make a Wish. It was touching to see all those artists donating their time and effort to gather money for a good cause. The art quality was awesome in general and I wished I had money! Oh, some of the works were to die for! People were super generous in the auction and over $16K were gathered to help fulfill children’s wishes. It was awesome. As a Make a Wish volunteer I was very touched by it.
What I enjoyed the most was the super friendly, almost familial environment of the con. There was a very relaxed atmosphere, the artists were with their families, there were teens but also a lot of adults, it was really nice. Plus the convention gives you everything you need to exhibit: your table and table cloth, a banner, you just bring the stuff and set it up. The price is $125 for 3 days. Not bad, right? So I really think next year I will be joining them :)
Have you gone to conventions as an artist? Is there any advice you can give? Any insight?